Assurance is unattainable without obedience.
Seventhly, The Christian’s imitation of Christ, under penalty of losing his claim to Christ, necessarily implies sanctification and obedience to be the evidences of our justification and interest in Christ: Assurance is unattainable without obedience; we can never be comfortable Christians except we be strict and regular Christians. Gal. 6:16. “As many as walk according to this rule, peace be unto them, and mercy; and upon the Israel of God.” A loose and careless conversation can never be productive of true peace and consolation, 2 Cor. 1:12. “This is our rejoicing, the testimony of our conscience, that in simplicity and godly sincerity, not with fleshly wisdom, but by the grace of God, we have had our conversation in the world.” Let men talk what they will of the immediate sealings and comforts of the Spirit, without any regard to holiness, or respect to obedience; sure I am, whatever delusion they meet with in that way, true peace, and consolation is only to be expected and found here: “The fruit of righteousness shall be peace, and the effect of righteousness quietness, and assurance for ever.” We have it not for our holiness, but we always have it in the way of holiness. And so much of the first particular, namely, what the imitation of Christ implies and comprizes in it.
Flavel, J. (1820). The Whole Works of the Reverend John Flavel (Vol. 2, p. 401). London; Edinburgh; Dublin: W. Baynes and Son; Waugh and Innes; M. Keene.
- Let us delight in the knowledge of Christ crucified, and be often in the thoughts and study of him. Study Christ, not only as living, but dying; not as breathing in our air, but suffering in our stead; know him as a victim, which is the way to know him as a conqueror. Christ as crucified is the great object of faith.
- Theology has two parts: the first, of God; the second, of His works.
- Faith is the master-wheel, it sets all the other graces a-running.
- If God be an incomparable God, then incomparable service and worship is due to him.
- There is no death of sin without the death of Christ.